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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

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Pope Francis

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Pope Francis

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A chapel in the heart of the Vatican

2009-04-08

Located in the heart of the Vatican, it’s the chapel of the popes, and it’s only used on special occasions, like the Lenten spiritual retreat or to pray vespers with representatives from other Christian denominations.

Simona-Sarah Lábadyová , an expert in art history and theology, is one of the few people that have been inside this chapel. Its beauty but above all its history, inspired her to write the book "The secrets of the new Sistine Chapel of the Vatican.” According to the author, the book reflects the true essence of this chapel.

Simona-Sarah Lábadyová
The Secrets of the New Sistine Chapel of the Vatican
It is very important and interesting because it unifies spirituality, art and theology.

John Paul II ordered its construction in 1996. He wanted it to be the Vatican’s ecumenical symbol. That’s why the Orthodox Russian artist Alexander Kornoukhov was chosen for the project.

The artist made this magnificent representation of the Heavenly Jerusalem. The work depicts a  contemplative vision of the saints of the East and West sitting together at the table.

Simona-Sarah Lábadyová
The Secrets of the New Sistine Chapel of the Vatican
It’s an expression also of the theology that John Paul II wanted, of the two lungs of the Church, Oriental and Occidental.

Because there were some disagreements, the orthodox artist was only able to finish this wall. But a group of Jesuit artists took up the project and finished it in a more modern style.

Simona-Sarah Lábadyová
The Secrets of the New Sistine Chapel of the Vatican
It’s very interesting that despite these problems they had during the realization of this chapel, we have a chapel in which you have the Orthodox wall, together with other two walls, Oriental, Occidental.

The writer says the Redemptoris Mater chapel is a true reflection of the beautiful but difficult path to unity of the Catholic and Orthodox Church.                                     

 DG